The ABC News 2020 Democratic debate is this Thursday and we at The World As I Like It To Be podcast will be focusing the next few episodes on the debate.
We continue our pre debate podcast and focus on the top issues each candidate is running on and if it is a winning or losing position.
With me is Denise from California.
First up is New Jersey senator Cory Booker, California senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.
Take a listen:
John Bolton – Fired!
Before we get to today’s blogI would be remiss if I did not discuss the breaking news NSC advisor John Bolton has been fired.
Bolton has been around for some time and is seen as a “hawk” pro-war and pro-military intervention overseas.
According to the New York Times:
The national security adviser’s dismissal came so abruptly that it was announced barely an hour after the White House scheduled a briefing for 1:30 p.m. where Mr. Bolton was supposed to appear alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. But Mr. Bolton is reported to have now left the White House.
Reports are Trump had grown frustrated by Bolton’s failures. Disagreements, particularly with the president not able to secure a deal with North Korea (and his apparent swooning over their leader), his call to override a military strike on Iran and, more recently, his disagreement at the president inviting the Taliban to Camp David, apparently took their toil.
According to CNN, a source close to the situation said “the leaking is what got him,” referring to Bolton’s conversations with reporters about the meeting at Camp David.
From Trump’s perspective, the reporting made him look bad and Bolton was the source of much of that reporting.
CNN also reports Steve Mnuchin apparently did not get along with the NSC advisor.
Mnuchin often felt that Bolton was too heavy-handed in advocating for sanctions, in particular over the administration’s policy toward Venezuela, the sources said.
Bolton v Trump
The Times continues:
The rift between the president and his national security adviser owed as much to personality as to policy. The president never warmed to him, a dynamic that is often fatal in this White House. Mr. Bolton’s critics inside the administration said he irritated the president by undermining policies even after they were decided.
At its core, the schism reflected a deep-seated philosophical difference that has characterized the Trump presidency. While given to bellicose language, Mr. Trump came to office deeply skeptical of overseas military adventures and promising negotiations to resolve volatile conflicts. Mr. Bolton, however, has been one of Washington’s most outspoken hawks and unapologetic advocates of American power to defend the country’s interests.
To his admirers, Mr. Bolton was supposed to be a check on what they feared would be naïve diplomacy, a cleareyed realist who would keep a president without prior experience in foreign affairs from giving away the store to wily adversaries. But Mr. Trump has long complained privately that Mr. Bolton was too willing to get the United States into another war.
According to CNN:
John Bolton had recently expressed reluctance to defend the Trump administration on television.
Bolton had been soft-booked to do “Meet the Press” and “This Week” on Aug. 25 during the G-7 summit, according to people familiar with the matter, but he later backed out.
According to one official familiar with the situation, Bolton felt uncomfortable explaining and defending Trump’s positions on various issues, including Russia, which had become a central topic of the summit.
A history of hawkism
If it’s true you know about a person by his admirers, perhaps the opposite is also true. So if you look at those who admired John Bolton you can learn a lot about them.
For example, Mitt Romney is said to be very unhappy to see Bolton leave the administration. The senator from Utah released a statement which, for a “moderate republican”, is chilling:
“John Bolton is a brilliant man with decades of experience in foreign policy…His point of view was not always the same everybody else in the room. That’s why you wanted him there. The fact that he was a contrarian from time to time was an asset, not a liability.”
Lindsey Graham said:
Bolton served the country well, but the President “deserves a national security adviser he has confidence in.”
“I’ve got a lot of respect for John Bolton. He’s got a certain point of view. Sometimes I agree with him, sometimes I don’t— but it was the President’s call and he made it,”
This is in stark contrast to Rand Paul who told reporters:
“The threat of war worldwide goes down exponentially with John Bolton out of the White House … I think his advocacy for regime change around the world is a naïve worldview, and I think that the world will be a much better place with new advisers to the president.”
In today’s podcast I reference an episode from This Week with George Stephanopoulos. The video for the full interview is here:
Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete
The attack on Harris and how the rapper turned political heavyweight Luke Campbell changed his tune on the California senator can be found in this Politico article.
In the podcast we play sound from mayor Pete on Colbert. For those who want to watch the full interview with Stephen Colbert check it out here:
And the USA Today opinion article where the mayor speaks on his faith is here.